Cor Caroli (Alpha2 Canum Venaticorum)
The brightest star in Canes Venatici; its name,
meaning "Charles' Heart," was given in honor of England's King Charles II.
In a telescope it is paired with a fainter fifth magnitude star of little
interest – the fainter called Alpha1, the brighter, really
Cor Caroli itself, Alpha2. Most interestingly, Cor Caroli is
a magnetic star, and has one of the strongest known magnetic fields among
otherwise normal main sequence stars. The Sun has an overall magnetic field
that is only a few times stronger than Earth's; Cor Caroli's, on the other
hand, has one that is 1,500 times stronger. The star also has a weird chemical
composition in which elements such as silicon
and mercury, and rarer ones such as
europium, are locally enormously enhanced.
Astronomers think the magnetic field is responsible for helping to redistribute
the elements in the star's atmosphere, apparently enriching some, depleting
others. Cor Caroli is the prototype Alpha2
Canum Venaticorum star.
||R.A. 12h 56m 01.7s,
Dec. +38° 19' 06"
||SAO 63257, GSC 3021:2645,
HIP 63125, PPM 76815,
HD 112413, B+39 2580,